If you have ever found yourself in ridiculous song and dance (flailing limbs, made-up lyrics and all) in front of a chortling toddler, you know it takes something special to keep a child entertained. The truth is, we parents often end up having fun, too. Luckily we have the opportunity to knock it out of the park every year come birthday time. Here are a few dream-come-true party ideas…
For a truly unique way to celebrate your little girl, host a Kimono Party at your home. Organised by a native of Japan, Takayo Malone, the party includes makeovers with vibrant kimonos and playful accessories for all the guests. “Some of the girls are left speechless when they view themselves in the mirror, thanks to what I call a little ‘kimono magic,’ Takayo says. “There’s something feminine, sophisticated and exotic about kimonos that they find impossible to resist.” The party also includes a special photo shoot, and the girls create their own Japanese decoupage photo frames to take home. Beautiful, original party invitations are included in the package, and sushi-making is also an option for an additional fee. For ages five and up, packages from £200.
AFTERNOON TEA PARTY
Introduce your child to the delightful traditions of a quintessential afternoon tea at Betty Blythe’s tearoom in west London. Before tea is served (along with traditional sandwiches and cakes), the partygoers can adorn themselves in pearls, trilbies and other 1920s garb for a vintage photo shoot. Owner Lulu Gwynne says, “We love the children to act like grownups from the beginning of the party. They are taught to act elegantly, to use the vintage china respectfully, and to engage with each other. Parents are amazed by the grace and calmness of the party!” Extra activities available upon request include ‘chocolate cookery’ and ‘paint a tea set.’ For ages five and up, packages from £98.
Camouflage hide-and-seek is just one of the many imaginative activities on the agenda during Sharky and George’s woodland ‘survival’ parties. Geared toward boys – but entertaining for the entire family – a ‘survival’ party also includes water bomb catapults, tug of war, and gourmet campfire cookery. The Sharky and George team pride themselves on offering good old-fashioned fun and games – even Bear Grylls is a fan. “Making a party unique is not about spending lots of money, but thinking of little touches,” says Sharky and George director Charlie Astor. “One mum sent each boy a handmade faded map of a park with a cross on it and a real compass – the first game was ‘find the party’!” Other partfrom Sharky and George include disco and movie-making parties. For ages seven and up, packages from £300.